In a fresh update on the current situation at light-heavyweight, WBN has been informed contract loose ends have been tied up for Sergey Kovalev v Anthony Yarde.
The WBO mandatory bout is expected to take place in Russia. The agreement means a looming purse bid can be avoided.
Speaking exclusively to World Boxing News, Kovalev’s promoter Kathy Duva revealed the latest on the stalling encounter.
“The Yarde negotiations are moving forward between the promoter in Russia, RCC, and Queensberry – who represents Yarde,” Duva told WBN.
“I heard from both sides yesterday that they have come to terms on all of the contract provisions.”
Kovalev must go through with the stipulated fight with Yarde in order to adhere to the WBO’s wishes.
The big-punching Russian will be a heavy favorite to prevail, especially on home soil.
Should Yarde’s challenge be brushed aside, Kovalev and Duva are pushing for a massive super-bout with Canelo Alvarez.
As WBN first reported, Canelo v Kovalev has potential to take place at the back end of 2019. Kovalev’s WBO duties also could see the tear-up move Canelo away from his usual September date.
The Yarde battle is expected to happen by the end of the summer, meaning dates in December would be more likely for Canelo.
Duva is awaiting formal contact from Golden Boy, but hopes the Canelo match-up can make it over the line this year.
Canelo is reported to have a shortlist of just two candidates for his next outing. The other being Briton Callum Smith.
It all depends on which weight division the Mexican superstar chooses to campaign at next.
“I can see where a Canelo v Callum Smith match would be a fun fight. And that is particularly interesting to Smith’s fans in the UK. But, at this point, Smith is not yet terribly well known here in the states,” Duva pointed out.
“Canelo’s interest in jumping all the way up to light heavyweight to challenge for a historic world title in a fourth weight class against a monster puncher like Sergey Kovalev puts that particular fight into another class entirely. So who wouldn’t want to watch it?
“Sergey is a legendary warrior in his own right. He is well known to boxing fans all over the world and has never, ever backed down from a challenge.
“In my opinion, this fight has the potential to turn into one of the classics, casting Canelo in the mold of greats like Leonard, Duran, Hearns, Whitaker, Chavez and DeLaHoya.
“All of them sought out bigger and riskier challenges as their careers progressed. They were not satisfied to remain in one division that they could easily dominate.
“That’s why we remember them as all-time greats due to their willingness to take risks. Not because of their won-lost records.
“In my opinion, Boxing could use a few more ‘throwback’ risk takers like Canelo. We already have more than enough fighters whose only goal is to preserve their precious ‘0’s’,” she concluded.
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay